Free market research tool available

25 Jan 2016

Are you setting up in business, and need to do some background research on your chosen market?  Or an established business needing to research new legislation, or research a competitor?

You can get access to a range of market research and business advice databases through the Library Enquiries Service.  These databases include:


  • Business Opportunity Profiles - the qualifications and skills needed for a given business activity, key market issues and trends, trading issues, legislation and sources of further information.
  • Business Information Factsheets - a wide range of guides, including writing a business plan, franchising a business, developing a marketing plan, complying with the Data Protection Act, creating a business logo, and more.
  • Sector guides - sector updates, UK market synopses, sector research guides (including statistics, and sources of useful information for a given sector such as industry bodies), sector updates
  • Business Legal Library - concise summaries of the legislation relevant to businesses e.g. food safety, employment law and health & safety.

Examples of questions which can be answered using COBRA:

  • I’m interested in becoming an accountant – where can I find out more?
  • What qualifications do I need to become a personal trainer?
  • Do you have any information on choosing and registering a business name?
  • I’m trying to find out about sources of finance available for people setting up a business.
  • How do I apply for a patent?
  • How do I go about setting up a Community Interest Company?
  • What are the main issues that farmers are facing at the moment?
  • What are the current trends in the complementary therapy sector?
  • Do you have a list of professional bodies representing the gardening and horticultural services industry?


Mint is a comprehensive database of over 3.5 million companies and unincorporated businesses based in the UK.

Who might find it useful?

  • Anyone looking for the contact details of an individual company or who wants to check a company’s credit scores and finances.
  • Jobseekers wanting to view the company reports of potential employers.
  • Businesses who want to expand their customer base and require lists of potential new customers or who want to check out their competitors.
  • Students or business people looking for market research information in particular sectors.
  • Anyone wanting to find out the current and previous directorships held by a particular person.

Searches can be done by any combination of company name, location, turnover, number of employees or industry sector.

Individual company reports and mailing lists can be can be customised for each enquirer and exported into excel or PDF formats for printing and posting or emailed direct to customers.

MarketLine Industry Profiles can be searched by industry sector (e.g. book publishing or car manufacturing) and/or country.  Reports are available for individual countries around the world, including the UK, but also for whole continents or in some case a global overview. Individual reports can be printed out or emailed in PDF format to enquirers.

How do I access this information?

Contact the Libraries Enquiries Service with your question/s and staff will get back to you with a response and any market research and reports requested.  This service is provided free of charge.


Text: 07919 540 839

Fax: 01823 272 178

Telephone: 01225 477454

Don't forget, you can also access your local free business support and advice service which can link you in to a wide range of local professional advisors.